Case Study 02

An acquisition that left the purchasing company with an inflexible implementation deadline




The home video division of an international media corporation sought to upgrade its ERP over 18 months, retiring 30+ applications in the process. The implementation experienced some exemplary successes and unexpected benefits, as well as overcame the pitfall of weak decision making.


Industry: Media
Employees: 33,000
Annual revenue: $21 billion
Region: United States
Reason for ERP implementation:  Company acquisition & simplify supply chain operations

ERP implementation:

A global company purchased the film and home video divisions of an entertainment company; without purchasing the music division.  This forced the company to find a new solution to manage and process their home video distribution (as the 30+ music applications were not purchased as part of the overall agreement); giving the team only 18 months to assess, transition and implement an ERP solution.  SAP was selected; as well as chosen (along with another firm) as the system integrator.  With such a tight deadline with no room for the timeline to slip; a high-quality provider was crucial.  

The Challenge

Staffing an entire functional, technical, compliance and program management project team takes months to a half year to put together.  Roles and responsibilities, job descriptions, organizational charts, business alignment, solve impacts to current IT and business team transitions are complicated and require attention.  Given the aggressive timeline; the company did not have that time to ramp up the project team in a perfect manner so a new program was established – which is now called the Project Quick Start Program offered by IMPRIVA.

The Solution

Four key decisions led to a successful ERP implementation within the tight 18-month deadline:

  1. Incorporation of SAP team members (expertise) from the beginning
  2. Built a true partnership with the system integrator; which allowed easy exchange of resources as the project continued and the phases differed from ramp up, design, build, test and deployment.
  3. A fixed bid contract with the offshore development company that incorporated penalties (for late deliverables) and rewards (for first time right and on time deliverables).  
  4. Designed a quick ramp up program for the consultants, business, IT and leadership team members to onboard and start the program.

There was also an expected benefit to the outsourced program that led to less than expected maintenance cost of the SAP system post go-live.  Due to the fixed bid contract specifics during the implementation phase(for example:  accuracy in the code development, provide related documentation, use of code libraries, documented unit test cases – etc.) the cost related to ramp up of production support and the on-going maintenance costs were greatly reduced.   This also enabled the in-house team to be spread across multiple functional areas and reduce the staff originally planned in the budget.